Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students explore citizen science through the work of Earthwatch’s ClimateWatch program. Students begin by sharing what they already know about citizen science, and analysing a range of citizen science projects from around the world. They then investigate the ClimateWatch app and explore Earthwatch’s ClimateWatch Trails. Finally, students will head outside to engage in some real citizen science in the school yard.

 

This lessons in this unit have been developed in partnership with Earthwatch. Earthwatch developed the ClimateWatch program with the Bureau of Meteorology and The University of Melbourne to understand how changes in temperature and rainfall are affecting the seasonal behaviour of Australia’s plants and animals. 

 

 

Learning intentions:

  • Students know how citizen science adds to our understanding of the world.
  • Students understand citizen science’s relationship with communities.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: NOTE – This unit has been designed to be taught in either Geography or Science. To further enhance the learnings from this unit for students, consider teaching this as a cross-curricular unit of work.

Year 7 Geography

  • Evaluate sources for their reliability and usefulness and select, collect and record relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS048)

Year 8 Geography

  • Evaluate sources for their reliability and usefulness and select, collect and record relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS056)

Year 7 Science

  • Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures (ACSHE223)

Year 8 Science 

  • Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures (ACSHE226)

Syllabus outcomes: SC4-17CW, GE4-7.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.6.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Geography achievement standards: Students evaluate a range of primary and secondary sources to locate useful information.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Geography achievement standards: Students evaluate a range of primary and secondary sources to locate useful and reliable information.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Science achievement standards: Students describe situations where scientific knowledge from different science disciplines and diverse cultures has been used to solve a real-world problem.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Science achievement standards: Students describe situations in which scientists collaborated to generate solutions to contemporary problems.

Topic: Biodiversity, Climate Change.

Unit of work: ClimateWatch: Citizen Science – Geography and Science – Years 7 & 8.

Time required: 60 min.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion and lead students in activities.

Resources required: Enough devices with ClimateWatch app installed for students to work in pairs. Internet access. Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Workbooks.

Additional resources: 

Keywords: Earthwatch, ClimateWatch, citizen science, app, trail, biodiversity.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: 

  • Students know how citizen science adds to our understanding of the world.
  • Students understand citizen science's relationship with communities.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... engage with citizen science projects.
  • ... investigate Earthwatch's work and confidently engage with their projects.
  • ... observe and digitally record the location and behaviour of plant and animal species.

Teacher content information: ClimateWatch is a citizen science initiative developed by Earthwatch that seeks to educate people from across Australia on the issue of climate change and empower them to contribute to solutions. Through its ClimateWatch program, Earthwatch works with educators to help them bring their experiences back to the classroom to foster new generations of environmental leaders. By incorporating ClimateWatch into curriculum, students and teachers will become more knowledgeable about climate change and its impacts, and inspire

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What types of citizen science projects would you most like to be a part of?

What types of citizen science projects are there?

Still working in your pairs, you will now investigate one of the following citizen science projects of your choosing:

You should spend several minutes investigating your chosen citizen science project using the questions below to guide you (NOTE: while you should discuss your answers to these questions in pairs, each student is responsible for recording their own responses on the Student Worksheet):

QuestionYour Answ
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